Last year, according to AAA, over 100 million Americans were expected to travel over the holidays. That’s a lot of people on the roads and in the air. Nothing can make your holidays go south like a safety emergency while you’re away from home. Fortunately there are some simple things you can do to keep yourself safer when you’re traveling.
7 Holiday Travel Safety Tips
Before you pack your bags this holiday season and head to Grandma’s, take a look at these 7 simple holiday travel safety tips.
Plan Your Itinerary and Share It
Make sure someone knows where you’re going to be while you’re traveling. Share your flight or drive itinerary with a trusted family member or friend. You can use apps like Trip Case for this to make life easier. But the idea here is that if you go missing, someone knows that you’re not where you’re supposed to be and can be quick to alert help that you might be in trouble.
Driving? Prep Your Car
If you are hitting the road in your vehicle, make sure you have an emergency kit and blankets in the trunk. And take the time to check the tires and other important car maintenance items. This is admittedly not my wheelhouse, but my husband does this every time we go on a long trip. He checks the oil, the wiper fluid, the tire pressure, makes sure the gas tank is full, etc. If you’re like me and don’t really know what to look for, call your trusted mechanic and ask for a quick check before your hit the road. It’s totally worth the extra few bucks to do that. No one wants to be broken down on the side of the road when they’re far away from home.
Make Copies of The Contents of Your Wallet
In the event your wallet is lost or stolen, you’ll want to have copies of all the important stuff inside. You might be tempted to just take pictures on your phone but if you’re phone is also stolen or lost this isn’t going to help. Scan your credit cards and passport on a printer (or go to Staples if your printer doesn’t have this feature) and keep them in your luggage or the hotel safe. You might also consider uploading them to a password protected cloud storage like Google Drive or DropBox.
Keep Your Phone Charged
I feel totally lost when I’m at HOME with a dead phone! When I’m traveling and don’t have that ability to quickly reach someone if needed, it makes me a little nervous. Keep your phone charged. Top if off when you have the chance if you know you’re going to be gone for the day, and take a battery pack with you to charge on-the-go.
Use Your Hotel Safe
Most hotels have a safe in the room, and if not you can request to use the hotel safe at the check-in desk. (Be sure to document the contents before doing that.) Use the safe! Put your passport, wallet, any valuable jewelry, and electronics like the kids’ iPods and your GoPro in there. We leave our stuff in there at all times when it’s not in use, but definitely when we leave the room.
Tell Your Banks and Credit Cards You’re Traveling
If you don’t want activity on your cards flagged as potential fraud, give your banks and credit card companies a quick call before you leave to let them know you may be using your cards out of your normal home area. Many of them now offer the ability to check a box that you’re traveling right on their website. You don’t want your cash and credit locked down when you need it most, so this is an important one.
Check in Regularly
Related to tip #1 about sharing your itinerary, make sure you keep someone posted on your whereabouts while you’re gone. Send a quick text like: “We arrived at the hotel.” “We’re waiting to board.” “We’ve stopped for a quick bite to eat off the Turnpike.” Check in with someone regularly so that someone will know if you’ve gone dark for too long. It’s also common courtesy so that your mama doesn’t worry (take note, kids!).
What other things are you doing to keep yourself safe while you travel this holiday season?